Pipes are durable, but they don’t last forever. The time will come when you need to repair or replace them to ensure the proper flow of water supply in your home. But, how do you know when to call a plumber for new pipes? What are the signs of old age and problems?

Know Your System’s Lifespan

The service life of pipes depends on their type. For instance, supply pipes, which are prone to leak because of constant pressure, are made of various materials with different durabilities. Brass supply pipes can last for 40 to 50 years while copper can serve you for at least 50 years. The lifespan of galvanized steel, on the other hand, falls between 20 and 50 years.

The same goes for drain lines. Cast iron can work for up to a century while the lifespan of polyvinyl chloride is indefinite. If your pipes are older than their service life, then you may want a professional to check whether they need repair or replacement. Otherwise, ignoring their old age may result in more expensive problems.

Watch Out for Polybutylene

A gray, plastic plumbing material, used during the 1970s and 1990s, polybutylene piping is notorious for its inadequate durability. If your house is built during that time and you think it contains this type of piping, you best call a plumber to inspect it for damage that it may have already incurred.

Checking polybutylene piping requires a professional; a layman cannot easily see its breakage. The pipe’s exterior may look fine, even if starting to flake from the inside. If left unchecked, your surprise will be colossal as these pipes suddenly fail without warning.

Be Wary of Lead Pipes

This type of pipe proved popular in the early 1900s, partly for its long life expectancy. They can last for a century, but that doesn’t mean you should use them for that long without an inspection from time to time. Lead pipes can wreak damage to your health once it starts leaching into your drinking water.

If your home water pipes are lead, test the water for lead content. A lead level of 15 parts per billion is a glaring sign that you need to replace the pipes to prevent people from becoming ill by drinking them. Learning the type of plumbing in your home is an important step in taking care of it. Replacement, however, is a complex job and should only be handled by a reliable Edmonton plumber.